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Letters (Dec 23, 2014)

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We would like to thank everyone who participated in and attended this year’s Unity Club Holiday Bazaar. It is a wonderful opportunity to shop locally and support many of the artists in our community. We would like to especially thank all of the businesses who help to support our raffle. Our thanks goes out to All That Good Stuff, Anderson Valley Brewing, Anderson Valley Nursery, The Apple Farm,  Boont Berry Farm, Boonville Chocolate Shop, Brutocao Cellars, The Buckhorn, Fish Rock Chicks Antiques, Farmhouse Mercantile, Ferrington Vineyards, Foursight Wines, Gowan’s Oak Tree, Harmonique, Handley Cellars, Husch Vineyards, Jack’s Valley Store, Lauren’s Restaurant, Lemons Market, Libby’s Mexican Restaurant, Meyer Family Cellars, Philo Ridge Vineyards, Roederer Estate, Rookie-To-Gallery, Scharffenberger Cellars, Shear Elegance, Toulouse Vineyards, Village Books, Gene Herr, Stella Salo, Judy Nelson, and Gypsy Spring.

Thank you,

Elizabeth Dusenberry


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Thanks to all who helped, came and ate!  Our dinner this year was less well attended due to a couple of other events that night, but that left more food for the rest of us :)  It was a true community effort, which seems to happen so easily here.

Our turkeys and potatoes were from Redwood Valley, our ham was from Anderson Valley Community Farm and some of the potluck dishes brought in meat and produce from other Valley farms and gardens.  We are lucky to live in such an abundant place.

Rod and Diane were there in spirit, as was Jan Wax's mom Vera, who passed on that morning.  Vera was one of our pianists last year and she was missed by those in attendance.

For those who brought tablecloths and left before the tables were cleared, your's are at the Boonville General Store ready to be picked up, under the bench to the left as you enter.  There are three tablecloths still unclaimed from Diane's memorial.  They are there, as well.

Any other left items can be retrieved tonight (Tues) at the Grange meeting.  The potluck begins at 6:00 and the meeting at 7:00.

AV Foodshed Group

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The Republicans were at a loss for a POTUS candidate. Scott Walker was under indictment. Fat Boy Christie was behind bars. And intraparty wrangling had killed Jeb Bush’s candidacy (mostly because nearly everyone hated him.) Sarah Palin had become a universal laughing stock. Colin Powell was out of action, uninterested, and uninteresting. Gingrich was considered a latter-day Stassen, damaged goods and over-the-hill besides.So what to do? The Right desperately needed a man on a horse, a white knight. (Of course, a black Republican nominee was unthinkable for most of the lily-white faithful — who, after all, had spent years trashing the DINO Obama.)Perceiving the candidate gap, on a slow news night, some newsreader at Fox News waggishly suggested trotting out Richard Bruce Cheney to run. Surprisingly, perhaps, the other on-air types immediately jumped in, saying that it was a fine idea. A brilliant stroke, in fact. So the next newscast Fox called Cheney at his home in the Bahamas.At first, Cheney appeared hesitant, claiming to be happy and content in retirement. Plus, there was his heart to consider. Finally the Foxperson implored: “But, Mr. Vice-President, your country needs you.” Seconds of portentous dead air followed.The caller tried again: “Mr. Vice-President–““Well, right now I can’t promise that I will run,” said Cheney, “but I can say that yes, I would accept a draft — just one condition: This time no more Mister Nice Guy.”

Michael Slaughter

Golden, Colorado

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There are lots of fingers pointing to the 'Bad Guys.'  Among the champion Bad Guys of History, I'm thinking many of those pictured as 'our' public servants need to be in the Front Row in the Dock.  The list of 'our' power-addled moral derelicts now includes Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, et al, PLUS those in positions to do something like Justice, who then decide NOT to...yes, I mean Obama, and anyone else who does not advocate and act for Justice.  So, where does that leave me?  And you?Mr. Cheney is precisely the current, visible posterboy for why there are Laws against cruel and unusual punishment...AND Laws banning ANY punishment without Due Process.  Lying about torture and advocating it, Cheney takes his place with some determination among the likes of de Sade, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Jeff Dahmer, and so on.  It was specifically to avoid giving the criminally insane access to any power whatever that our democratic republic was designed with a Balance of Powers...those were the daze...There has been a lot of mileage logged honoring and memorializing the very brave volunteers who got up and resisted the hijacking of that airliner over Pennsylvania that morning of 911.  Those courageous few saw something was Wrong, got together and got up and did something about it. They had no idea they could save themselves, they moved because it was the Right Thing to Do.  We Americans now find ourselves in their shoes.  Are we to remain seated, with our belts fastened, and maybe order another cocktail, all calm and compliant, while 'our' public servants unlawfully fumble at the hijacked controls, tailspinning us into the dirt?  Or is there a feeling, an inkling, an urge to recognize the peril, and to get up on our back feet, and say, all in one loud voice, '...let's roll...'?I, for one, and my family and a lot of my friends, for a bunch of others, will not be going quietly, thank you.

Rick Weddle


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To the County Mental Health Board,

This EQRO (External Quality Review Organization) Report was missing from your packet so here it is. The Mental Health Approved Claims Report CY13 (Prepared by Rachel Phillips, APS Healthcare / CAEQRO) shows that Mendocino County had a:

1.  "Day Treatment" Program in 2013 for 6 people that cost $115,023 for a total of $19,170/person. WHAT?? Where was this? How did everybody miss it?

2. Another question is, How could County Mental Health serve 1,332 beneficiaries/patients in 2013 with only 1 psychiatrist, 1 Nurse Practitioner and 1 part time R.N.? As we all know, neurobiological brain disorders require medical treatment as well as other forms of treatment.

3. When there are almost no Mental Health Services throughout our County, why is there $5.5M of Mental Health patient dollars stashed away in Reserve Funds? See below.

State Controller County Budget Act 2010 County of Mendocino County Budget Form
Details of Provisions for Reserves/Designations by Governmental Funds for Fiscal Year 2013-14 Schedule 4 Reserve/Designated Balance as of June 30, 2013

Mental Health Fund
Designated for Proposition 63 MH Services Act: $3,058,107
Designated for MHSA Prudent Reserve: $1,857,850
Designated for CONREP: $80,604
Designated for MH Audit Adjustment: $549,505
TOTAL: $5,546,066

Sonya Nesch


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To the Editor:

Back in the saber-rattling days of the "Cold War" and the hot "war" in Southeast Asia, the mainstream U.S. media vilified the socialist/communist countries of "Red" China, the USSR, and North Vietnam quite regularly. Back then, many adults would have accurately described Joseph Stalin as a mass murderer and brutal leader of the totalitarian USSR. Now if you ask 100 Californians under 30 who Joseph Stalin was, 80 percent of them might say something like, "Wasn't he the shortstop on the Dodgers back in the 70s?"

My point is not that Stalin was a great guy, but rather that the Cold War and the USSR are semi-ancient history. China, Russia, and Vietnam have adopted many capitalistic features. Young people are not "afraid" of socialism and communism the way the majority of U.S. adults were 40-plus years ago. Maybe young people are willing to look at the flaws and benefits of both capitalism and socialism.

I recently read Jerry Mander's "The Capitalism Papers: Fatal Flaws in an Obsolete System." On his very first page, he points out that in ecological systems, "a once thriving, even dominant species, in markedly changed circumstances, gives way to other species that are better adapted to current realities." Students of biology and environmental science know that in natural systems this is called natural succession. Mander argues that it's time for economic succession to allow humans to adapt to this century where we're face-to-face with the carrying capacities of our planet's ecosystems with many tough ecological problems to solve.

Capitalism is soooo last century, and yet we have dragged it into this 21st century. If it ever was useful for the majority of humans is questionable, but it seems pretty obvious lately that it has outlived its usefulness.

Mander has a master's degree in international economics and has been in advertising/ marketing for several decades. But long ago he realized that typical advertising for giant corporations was effectively persuading people to act against their own interests and the interests of the environment. So he cofounded a marketing firm that promoted the causes of groups like the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, and Friends of the Earth. In his Capitalism Papers, Jerry Mander describes many of the consequences of large, powerful corporations wielding so much power. The book is full of important information about how our planet is run. The book has a bibliography with over 150 sources and an extensive index. I hope that many college economics professors are using this book in their classes.

Here are a few chapter titles: Growing Up Global; Intrinsic Amorality & Corporate Schizophrenia; Is Greed Good?; Intrinsic Inequalities of

Corporate Structure; Endless Growth on a Finite Planet; Propensity Towards War; Privatization of Democracy; and Capitalism or Happiness.

The book is only 283 pages, but has dozens of details about the way capitalism is having an immensely negative impact on people and the natural world.

Having been a critic of capitalism for over 40 years, there are not many ideas in the book that are new to me, but Mander's research has turned up some amazing details showing how various aspects of capitalism are ruining democracy, the lives of people, and our biosphere. I don't think that ending capitalism and replacing it with a "socialist" alternative will automatically fix the broken lives of people and entire species. But I do believe that if we allow powerful corporations to control our lives and our world, they will, and the results may be the extinction of most of the species on Earth, including humans. Corporations will continue to push for more "growth" and profits by chewing up the natural world and turning live beings into dead products.

So I recommend getting a copy of Mander's The Capitalism Papers at the library or at a local new or used bookstore. Ending capitalism is something that more and more mainstream people are beginning to talk about. This book describes many of the unethical and unfair aspects of the earth's dominant economic system. As the world's ecosystems continue to deteriorate, alternatives to capitalism will not just look more and more attractive, we will see them as essential.

Sandy Turner

Redwood Valley

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Dear Editor:

Kudos to President Obama for after 50 years restoring diplomatic relations with Cuba. This action should have been taken years ago. The Cuban lobby and their yahoo congresspersons having been standing in the way and prior administrations have been too cowardly to act.. The cry we should not recognize a repressive government rings hollow when we consider we have diplomatic relations with repressive governments like China. In fact, we have diplomatic relations with many countries more repressive than Cuba. Again kudos to President Obama.

In peace,

Jim Updegraff


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To the Editor:

Growing up in a small community like Ukiah there was always one particular building that stood out to me: The Palace Hotel. Whether it be walking to Dig! Music to buy a CD or driving on State Street to get to work at The Dragon's Lair, The Palace Hotel has always been in the corner of my eye. There was something always mesmerizing to me about the way the ancient ivy slithered up the bricks that are practically as old as Ukiah itself. It saddens me to think that such an iconic land structure is rotting to the ground due to the lack of action taking place. The Palace Hotel desperately needs tons of recreational work in order to get it back to what it originally was and what it stood for: a place to gather with others and have a good time.

Since its establishment in 1891, The Palace Hotel has gone through many renovations. It has included a restaurant, hotel service, a café, and was an overall entertainment center for people all around the area. Celebrities, movie stars, and anyone who was fiscally secured would come to The Palace Hotel for a nice getaway. But by 1981 The Palace Hotel was shut down due to threats of demolition (; ever since then the hotel has been in a constant state of “under construction.” In recent years The Palace Hotel was in an episode of Ghost Hunters due to it supposedly being haunted.

With the knowledge that I have regarding the stalling of renovations on the Palace Hotel, the handling of the Palace Hotel is a representation of what is going on in our government with the filibusters and the making up of any petty excuses as to why no action is taking place. As a citizen I know I cannot be the only one who is tired of people talking about getting things accomplished in our society without actually having anything accomplished.

Whether it be the renovation of the Palace Hotel or the passing of a bill, the amount of time it takes to do anything nowadays is just outright not okay. Although we may be a small town with not a lot occurring, that does not mean we should be lazy when things do occur within the community. We as a community need to take a stand and make sure that our town is progressing into a positive direction and set an example to the future citizens of Ukiah about how to handle disputes.

I believe that the perfect example of doing something like this is to push the owner or whoever is taking charge of the construction of The Palace Hotel to actually get the construction done. It should not have to take over 20 something years to figure out what to do with a building and then completing that goal.

As a former resident of Ukiah, what I would personally like to see happen to the Palace Hotel is that the owner, Eladia Laines, quit making excuses about the various reasons the renovations cannot continue and start doing her part as an owner and take care of what needs to be done for the Palace Hotel to be in proper condition. I believe that instead of transforming the Palace Hotel back into a Hotel it should be turned into apartments/condos that range from a single studio to an one/two bedroom apartment. Or maybe even renovate it back to what it originally looked like when it was first opened and have people take tours during the summer and if people want they can stay the night for an additional price.

Kathryn Wellik

San Francisco

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Dear Editor,

Mention is made in David Foster Wallace’s “Infinite Jest” of a bar in Boston called The Unexamined Life. But as good ol’ Yogi Berra once said about some other place of note, nobody ever goes there anymore because it’s too crowded.


Bill Brundage

Kurtistown, Hawaii

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